Table Saw Accident

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Forum topic by Tooch posted 10-05-2013 05:26 PM 1780 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1856 posts in 2113 days

10-05-2013 05:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tablesaw tip

So I was working on the table saw Friday afternoon, mitering boards that would become a box for my friend’s Dog’s ashes, when all of the sudden… BOOM! The brake on my table saw activated and I was standing there with a bewildered look on my face. I wasn’t distracted by anything or doing an unsafe act, and my fingers were not in the way, so I had no idea what had happened. I lifted up the table insert and sure enough, my SawStop had performed as I’ve seen so many times in Youtube clips and demonstrations. here is what it looked like with the board still on the table… notice how I never even finished the cut!

Upon further review, I noticed the blade came in contact with the miter gauge I was using, and the conductivity of the metal must have transferred the feeling of my hand to the blade. see if you can locate the chip taken out of the miter gauge in this picture:

I normally leave a quarter inch clearance between the blade and miter gauge as to support the stock as much as possible. I forgot to adjust the gauge for the 45 degree blade angle, and that resulted in the blade nipping the miter gauge and tripping the blade. Although angry at myself for such a BONEHEAD move, I can’t believe the reassurance that I have with this Table saw. the chip taken out was barely a 1/16”!!!

Good god and the goose fat! Again, it was totally my fault, but this was totally an accident and goes to show that a second or two of not thinking can really turn out a bad situation. In this case it only saved my miter gauge, but it could have easily been a finger or hand. Thank you makers of SawStop!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

8 replies so far

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 2251 days

#1 posted 10-05-2013 05:30 PM

So I guess there is no cutting of aluminum on a SS?

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View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2276 days

#2 posted 10-05-2013 05:31 PM

Glad to hear you’re OK although if it’s as described then you would have had to be putting your hand in some awkward position/place to lose a finger. Now you’ve got to replace the cartridge – what’s that cost? Is the sawblade still usable? I guess I’m wondering what the cost is to get up and running again, and how much it would have cost if you’d just cut off the end of the miter gauge.

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View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 10-05-2013 05:54 PM

Nice to see it did what it’s supposed to. You’re right, at least it was your miter gauge and not your finger. I haven’t done anything like that on mine yet (and hope I never do), but I always keep a spare cartridge on hand just in case (I’ve got 4 total, 2 regular and 2 dado).

@Biff – the SawStop has a bypass mode that won’t trigger the brake if it detects a capacitance change, but it has to be activated manually and is only “on” for that one time. Once you flip the switch, it goes back into normal operating mode.

@JustJoe – cartridge runs about $70 or $90 for the dado cartridge. I’ve read about some people trying to reuse a blade and get it sharpened if the teeth are okay, but IMO I don’t see myself doing that, especially since most of my blades are in the $50-$60 range. True, like you said, it probably would have been cheaper to just nick the miter gauge, but I kind of look at it as the cost of doing business. Honestly, when I use my SS, I find myself mentally rehearsing the cut an additional time before going about it in case of things like this because of my cheapness :). May not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works well for me.

View Tooch's profile


1856 posts in 2113 days

#4 posted 10-05-2013 08:32 PM

I read the user manual, and it says to contact SawStop when the brake is tripped. They will arrange to pay shipping for you to ship it back to them, and send you a replacement for free.

Apparently the onboard memory collects information that they want to get and use for further research and advancements. I don’t know if they will send me one for tripping it on my miter gauge, I’ll keep you posted.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30142 posts in 2575 days

#5 posted 10-06-2013 01:58 AM

It amazes me that it stopped that quickly.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2330 days

#6 posted 10-06-2013 02:04 AM

If the saw trips because of contact with flesh they will furnish a new brake cartridge. Apparently the data in the cartridge is worth it to them. It may also be a way of avoiding lawsuits by gathering data.

If anything metal touches the blade it will trip. Anything that interrupts the electrical current running through the blade will trip it. That includes the miter gauge.

You can cut aluminum on it but you have to switch off the safety brake. I have cut plastic on it and have not had to switch off the safety.

View Manitario's profile


2703 posts in 3120 days

#7 posted 10-06-2013 02:18 AM

yep, I did this once as well. Stood looking at the TS stupidly for a couple of seconds wondering what happened then checked all my fingers for injury; only then realized that I had contacted the blade with the mitre gauge extension.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2750 days

#8 posted 10-06-2013 03:27 AM

good thing it activated, I’ve been wanting to set my Incra 1000 aside and make a sled just for this reason.

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